Creature Feature by Annie Gonzalez
Species name (common and scientific): Red-tailed boa or Boa constrictor (Boa constrictor)
Taxonomy- Family Boidae
Natural History- Boa constrictors are nonvenomous snakes that can be found in a variety of habitats ranging from open savannas to wet tropical forests like the ones found in Panama. Baby boa constrictors start off very small like the one pictured above, however adults can be over 100lbs and about 10-13ft in length.
Fun Fact- It was previously believed that Boa constrictors would suffocate their prey by squeezing their lungs until they died to consume them more easily. However, this snake actually subdues its prey by wrapping its body around them and squeezing them until the prey goes into cardiac arrest and the animal dies. They are also able to detect the heartbeat of their prey which allows them to relax and end constriction once the prey is dead and ready to be consumed.